Brighton & Hove Albion under-23 forward Aaron Connolly is raring to go for the Republic of Ireland against Brazil in the Toulon Tournament semi-finals this afternoon.
Connolly, along with Albion team-mate Jayson Molumby, is preparing to take on the South American giants, and is eager to test himself against one of the world’s top footballing nations.
He said, “I can’t wait. Everyone wants to play against the best countries, and they don’t come any bigger than Brazil. Hopefully we can make a good show of ourselves.
“To wear the Ireland shirt is always a proud moment, but to do it in a tournament for the under-21s makes it even better.
“Hopefully we can get the win and get to the final.”
The 19-year-old reviewed the competition so far, including a 4-1 win against China, in which he scored and made an assist in the opening five minutes.
“It’s been a very good tournament so far for myself and the team. I couldn’t have asked for a better start with the goal and the assist, and if someone had said that I would do that, I wouldn’t have believed them.
“They’ve all been different types of tests, but we’ve dealt with them well. We came out of the blocks so quickly against China and our defence was so good too.
“Mexico [0-0] was probably the toughest game we had. Against Bahrain [1-0], we got one goal and were under the cosh for a bit. It was a nervy ending, but thankfully we got through it.”
The Seagulls frontman also spoke about his good relationship with Molumby and is delighted to be playing at the tournament with his Albion team-mate.
“I’m used to being with him every day and I know what he’s like, so it’s good to have someone like Jayson around.
“I am sharing a room with him as well and sometimes he gets a bit too much! In all seriousness though, he’s a great character to have in and around the squad.”